PSAT Scholarships – NMSQT

Doing well on the PSAT may qualify you for one of the available PSAT Scholarships or recognition programs

NMSQT – National Merit Scholarship Corporation

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation cosponsors the PSAT. As such, it receives all student PSAT scores. Students scoring in the very top of the testing class are eligible to participate in the NMSQT selection. Scores are based on the overall testing score, the Selection Index score, which is the total of the critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills scores on the PSAT/NMSQT.

Each year approximately 1.5 million students take the PSAT. Of those, the top 50,000 will go on to the next level of qualification. From that list, 15,000 finalists are chosen over the next several months.

Although many sophomores students take the PSAT, only juniors are eligible to receive National Merit Scholarships. If you have done well on the PSAT as a sophomore and think you may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship, it is worth the extra time and effort involved to raise your scores even further by practicing individually or with a test prep program, such as The Right Path, to try for this scholarship.

Receiving a National Merit Scholarship is not only valuable financially, it is a very prestigious award which will definitely stand out on your college applications.

For more information about NMSC, visit www.nationalmerit.org.

If you do not want your scores and students information sent to other scholarship agencies, contact the College Board directly.

It’s Time to Register for the PSAT!

The PSAT is only offered in October each year, and October is coming up fast so it is important to not procrastinate – register now for your PSAT! Interested students should go to their local high school guidance counselors or school officials and discuss how best to register for the PSAT in their area. Most high schools will host this test, but it is important to register early to ensure a seat. Also, some schools, especially smaller, private schools, will not host a PSAT so students at these schools should be especially proactive in registering for the exam. A photo ID and $14 payment must be accompanied by PSAT registration.

Unlike the SAT, the PSAT has no online registration at this point. Also unlike the SAT, the PSAT is only offered one month each year so missing important deadlines can be quite detrimental to your testing and to your wallet! Although you may be able to register for a test later than the first deadline, additional fees usually apply. Also consider that delaying registration may mean you are not be able to get the testing site you desire. An alternate testing site can mean costly travel and parking fees in some areas. Taking the test in a location with which you are unfamiliar may also mean that you have an increased anxiety level which may be detrimental to your score.

While college admissions officers do not generally look at PSAT scores when considering applicants, the PSAT’s are important as a practice SAT. There are significant differences between the PSAT’s and the SAT’s; however, the question style, and test format among other things make the PSAT an important aspect of PSAT test prep. It is also very important for those students hoping to qualify for the NMSQT – National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. I will write more on the NMSQT in my future blog post:  The PSAT’s – How to Prep for Your NMSQT.

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